Members of the Joplin Celebration Commission this week discussed a need for the creation of a logo and a central icon for Joplin's 150th birthday observance in 2023.

Community historian Brad Belk said he believes the event should be focused on Joplin's mining heritage, perhaps centered on the first ore strike or a symbol representing that history such as a piece of mining equipment or a figure similar to the miner statue in Spiva Park.

Chris Wiseman, director of the Joplin History and Mineral Museum, said authentic symbols of the mining era such as an ore bucket or replicas of the statue could be used. He said the Joplin Historical Society has had a stylized miner as a logo.

He and Belk said the museum owns several pieces of mining equipment and some are significant because of the stories about their origins and the important purpose they served in mines. Members of the commission talked about whether a piece of equipment would suitable as a symbol.

A painting was commissioned from Thomas Hart Benton for Joplin's 100th birthday in 1973. Belk said the committee needs to find a similar project that people can rally around and that will provide the community with a commemoration of the event.

Member Wally Bloss said he thought that a pick and shovel were easily recognized as mining symbols.

He said that the commission should create a logo that could be used by the commission and other organizations and businesses to promote their celebration events to show that they have the endorsement of the commission.

Member Chad Stebbins said the commission should identify how long the celebration season should extend. He also asked if the commission should establish a mechanism to decide which events to endorse such as asking that forms be submitted or presentations made to the commission.

The group could hire a marketing firm to create a logo and other marketing materials for the commission's activities. Frank Leto, Joplin Globe publisher, said he could have the newspaper's staff help with that.

Commission discussions are being led by Belk, Wiseman and Patrick Tuttle, director of the Joplin Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The City Council appointed the commission to arrange for observances of major occasions.

Anniversaries on horizon

In particular, four major anniversaries will be observed by the city in the next several years: the Missouri bicentennial (200th anniversary) on Aug. 10, 2021; Joplin’s sesquicentennial (150th anniversary) on March 23, 2023; the U.S. sestercentennial (250th anniversary) on July 4, 2026; and the Route 66 centennial (100th anniversary) on Nov. 11, 2026.